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Springfield, IL Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 34
Total Sleeping Rooms 3,508
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 365
Committable Meeting Rooms* 31
Convention Center Space 62,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 40,000 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $85
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $56
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $334
*Maximum for a single hotel

Springfield, IL Meeting Planning Overview

Beautiful, historically rich and welcoming, Springfield, the capital city of Illinois (located 200 miles outside of Chicago) offers Midwest hospitality in addition to state-of-the-art meeting facilities and amenities. Meeting planners choose this city for its affordability, range of Springfield event venues and accessibility. Visitors can reach Springfield via its Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, located just three miles outside of the downtown district. Once in downtown, visitors can navigate the city and its many attractions via the Springfield Mass Transit District bus system, which provides direct access to the city's historical attractions.

Central to American history, Springfield is known as "the land of Lincoln" as it served as the home of Abraham Lincoln until he left for the White House in 1861. Springfield celebrates this heritage at such sites as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library, New Salem and the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. In fact, more than one million people visit Springfield's Lincoln sites each year.

Getting down to business, Springfield hosts thousands of meetings, events and gatherings every year. Up to 9,000 meeting attendees may convene at Springfield's 62,000-square-foot Prairie Capital Convention Center, which features 40,000 square feet of column-free exhibit space, 16 soundproof meeting rooms and parking for more than 2,000 cars. The convention center is located adjacent to the 310-room President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center, which offers an additional 13,000 square feet of meeting space, and across the street from the 365-room, 30-story Hilton Springfield, which offers 50,000 square feet of meeting space.

Meeting groups can also gather at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, located just outside of downtown Springfield. The 366-acre site features 29 indoor buildings, a one-mile oval dirt track, barns and agricultural buildings, grandstands and more than 250 campsites. Event facilities include the two-level Exhibition Building, which has a 34,800-square-foot main floor, 25,744-square-foot mezzanine and 2,720-square-foot gallery, featuring iron framing, brick walls and segmented arched windows. Other fairgrounds meeting spaces include the 39,000-square-foot Orr Building, which features a central fountain and large windows, as well as the 6,400-square-foot Artisans Building, complete with beautiful restored floors.

For smaller group functions and events, look no further than Springfield's Land of Lincoln attractions. The 215,000-square-foot Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library is among the most visited of all the presidential libraries, as well as one of Springfield's best special event locations. The museum documents the life of Lincoln and the course of the Civil War in life-size settings and exhibits and houses such artifacts as White House china and Lincoln's stovepipe hat. Groups can hold private events in such spaces as the museum's 4,500-square-foot plaza rotunda, which accommodates up to 500 guests and features a full-scale recreation of Lincoln's boyhood cabin and replica of the White House.

Groups may also gather at the 700-acre New Salem historic site, a reconstruction of the village where Lincoln spent his early adulthood. Groups can tour the site's log houses, mills, tavern and other historic structures, as well as rent shelters along the Sangaman River or convene at New Salem's 200-person amphitheater.

About Springfield, IL / Additional Info

A wonderful location for family fun, recreation, education and relaxation, Springfield is known for its historical significance, friendly Midwest hospitality and number of attractions. The city offers a wonderful location, as it's just 200 miles southwest of Chicago and 100 miles northeast of St. Louis.

Much of Springfield's present is built upon its past. Springfield became the Illinois capital in 1837 and served as Lincoln's home until he left for Washington DC in 1861. Many of the city's attractions focus on the life and times of Lincoln, but Springfield's appeal soars far beyond the historical. For one, the city is home to White Oaks Mall, the largest indoor shopping facility in central Illinois. Today, Springfield is a leader in health care and the medical industry and a leader in tourism, as it welcomes more than one million visitors every year.

World-class Springfield attractions include the beautiful Dana-Thomas House, a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece completed in 1904. A shining example of architectural excellence, the Dana-Thomas House features original Wright art glass and furniture throughout the 12,000-square-foot home's 35 rooms, three main levels and 16 varying levels. For a different residential take, visitors may also tour the beautiful Lincoln Home National Historic Site, which served as the only home that Lincoln owned. The Lincoln home is nestled within a historic four-block neighborhood that features 12 historic homes and several Lincoln-oriented exhibits, as well as an 1860s-style heirloom garden.

Other Springfield attractions include the serene Washington Park Botanical Garden. Home to more than 1,200 species of plants, the garden features annual and perennial flower beds, a rose garden and domed conservatory with African, Asian and South American tropical foliage. For another taste of the exotic, Springfield visitors visit the Henson Robinson Zoo, which features naturalistic exhibits and is home to more than 300 animals and 90 species of animals native to Australia, Africa, Asia, North America and South America.

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